I have never been a joiner. I do not wear school colors or team jerseys, attend rallies or demonstrations,and generally try to avoid, at all costs, whatever it is that the majority is wearing or doing. I am not particularly outwardly patriotic, nor do I declare my love for my hometown on random t-shirts. I am generally more of an oppositional/defiant personality. If you told me to jump, I would not respond “How high?” but more likely “Yeah, that’s not going to happen.” If people are coagulating, I sprint in the opposite direction, using my patent-pending Salmon Maneuver.
Just for fun (and to get a good laugh from my younger son, who shares many of my genes), I decided to mix things up a bit last weekend. First I chose to attend a football game at my old Alma Mater without any monetary or other type of compensation and/or bribery. This in itself is amazing as I could count the number of football games I attended as a University of Missouri student on one hand, with a few fingers contracted.
For more shock value, I dressed the part. Oh, not just the yellow Tiger T, but full on crazy fan mode (for me), yellow football T and black shorts! I felt the school spirit oozing through my pores! It was so worth it to get a downright guffaw from son as he took in my Saturday-in-Columbia-Dressed-Like-Everyone-Else ensemble. “Wow, that’s so not you!” complemented my own little Mizzou Tiger.
Some things I just can’t do. I have never and will never either “M I Z” or “Z O U.” I will not sway with the crowd to the Missouri song, or ever say “MizzerrrrRAH!” My arms and fingers stay stubbornly at my sides during kick-offs, and if you all stand up, I will simply stay seated and watch the action on the big screen. So it seems I can bring myself to dress like a fan, but not act like one.
As my mind tends to do in situations of extreme boredom (like organized sports), I let it wander away. Thoughts drifted to my sons and how proud I am of their accomplishments. It’s hard to pick a top choice for each, but I thought about my own almost grown up Tiger cub, and came up with what is most likely my proudest moment so far.
You can see it, too, if you want. A picture is hanging in a hallway of Kirkwood High School. Every year Kirkwood’s Senior class takes a class photo with its 500 some odd student bodies squished together on bleachers, all proudly flaunting their spiffiest, reddest, We Love Kirkwood wear. It’s kind of like Where’s Waldo, but if you look very closely, you will see one singular student amongst the red sea of school-loving, I’ll live in Kirkwood forever devotees. You will spot him as he is wearing a neon yellow/green shirt. How I love that young man!